Ministry of Communications & IT Rejects 4G Services License to Etisalat Company

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Alireza Khaliqyar

Publish Date

Press release
Date 21.2.2013
Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
Ministry of Communications & IT Rejects 4G Services License to Etisalat Company
To aware the people of Afghanistan by rejecting of issuing 4G License to Etisalat Company a press conference held in Ministry of Communications & IT on 21/2/2013 with participation of Khair Mohammad faizi ATRA Voice president. MCIT chief of staff Jelani Waziri to explain below material.
The following statement is made by the Afghanistan Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (“ATRA”) to correct reports appearing in the national media regarding the award of a 4G telecommunications license to Etisalat Afghanistan Limited (“Etisalat”).
1. ATRA is aware of reports in the national media alleging Etisalat’s entry into a license with ATRA on February 19, 2013 to provide 4G services in Afghanistan.
2. ATRA, the regulatory authority established under the Telecommunications Services Regulation Act of Afghanistan, confirms that it has (i) not entered into any such license agreement with Etisalat or (ii) issued any further frequencies to Etisalat and notes that such reports are highly misleading, deceptive to consumers of telecommunications services across Afghanistan, and ultimately anti-competitive.
3. Over the last 12 months ATRA has awarded each of (i) Etisalat; (ii) MTN Afghanistan Limited; and (iii) Telecom Development Company Afghanistan Limited (“Roshan”) with mobile telecommunications licenses (“Mobile Telecommunications Licenses”) in accordance with transparent licensing procedures and international best practice and in each instance for a fee of USD $25m.
4. Further, and again in accordance with international best practice, the Mobile Telecommunications Licenses are technology neutral. Licensees are not restricted in their use of technology in providing telecommunications services using the frequencies allocated to them under the Mobile Telecommunications License. A Licensee may use any internationally recognized next generation standard in providing services to its customers.
5. Accordingly ATRA believes it important to correct any public misperception that Etisalat may have secured additional rights and be in a position to provide services that other Licensees cannot provide by virtue of having signed an additional license.
6. ATRA will continue to investigate the source for such a material misstatement appearing in the national media and reserves its rights under the Telecom Law and provisions of the laws of Afghanistan as they relate to consumer protection to take whatever further action it deems necessary to the extent that ATRA concludes that there was a deliberate attempt to mislead the Afghan public.
7. ATRA will further request that an immediate and public statement be issued by Etisalat on the matters above and circulated to the national media by no later than the close of business on February 21, 2012.